Gourley’s brace fires Gers into third

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A SUPERB Jason Gourley brace at Cheney Park saw Banbridge Rangers defeat Fivemiletown United and move into third place in Intermediate A last Saturday.

This was win number four on the trot for the Gers who will be relishing the visit of second placed Dollingstown to Cheney Park this coming Saturday.

The Co Tyrone team got into the faces of the Gers players from the start with a very scrappy opening twenty minutes seeing little or no goalmouth action. On 25 minutes Gareth Fulton reacted quickest to a Richie McMinn flick inside the box but the covering defender forced him to put his effort over the bar from seven yards out.

Within minutes Banbridge Rangers were 1-0 up when a throw in deep on the right flank saw McMinn spin the ball back towards the six yard line with the outside off his boot and Jason Gourley was on hand to poke past the outstretched keeper. Fivemiletown’s only opportunity of the half came after a defensive error saw their striker go one on one but his tame effort was held by Blevins.

Banbridge Rangers finished the half stronger with Chris Chambers and Mark Wilton both going close with free kicks. After the interval Fivemiletown continued to work hard all over the pitch to deny Rangers and time on the ball but they offered very little in the attacking third.

After several half chances went begging Rangers finally added a second goal on 64 minutes through Jason Gourley. The left winger had an impressive game and linked well with stand in left back Cousins who supplied a superb ball over the top of the full back with Gourley taking the ball inside the centre half by his chest and drilling the ball low past the keeper.

Andy McLarty was introduced for McMinn as Banbridge Rangers looked to tie up the win and add a third which looked very much on the cards. Fivemiletown’s keeper did well under pressure at several corners to hold the Gers at bay and with just under ten minutes to go the away team grabbed a goal after working a quick free kick into the path of McDowell who slotted under Blevins.

The goal didn’t produce any real comeback from United who saw the game out without threatening the Rangers goal. This was another hard fought but deserved victory for Banbridge Rangers who have now adapted to the demands of Intermediate A and have their eyes firmly set on finishing as high up the table this season as possible.

This Saturday’s game against Dollingstown will kick off at Cheney Park at 2.15pm and will be preceded by games from the clubs Under 8s at 9.00am, the Under 12s at 10.30am and the Under 14s at 12.00pm.